GM Design’s Tom Peters Earns Lifetime Achievement Award

Art Center College of Design honors his design excellence and leadership

2013-10-29

PASADENA, Calif. – In addition to more than 30 years of designing some of General Motors’ most memorable vehicles, Tom Peters led the exterior studio teams that produced two of GM’s most important product introductions this year – the 2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray and 2014 Chevrolet Silverado full-size pickup.

On Sunday, Peters received a lifetime achievement award for his work from his alma mater, Art Center College of Design, which has been at the forefront of art and design education internationally for more than 80 years. Currently, the director of exterior design for performance cars, Peters received the award from Stewart Reed, chair of the college’s Transportation Design Department, and Jay Leno, “Tonight Show” host and noted car buff and collector.

“Through your efforts to promote the very best in automotive design as seen in examples like the 2014 Corvette Stingray, you continue to represent Art Center in the best way possible and serve as an inspiration for our graduates following in your footsteps,” said Reed.

Peters worked briefly at GM following his 1980 graduation from the college and returned in 1982 after two years with Texas Instruments. His portfolio includes memorable concepts such as the Corvette Indy show car, Pontiac Banshee, Cadillac Sixteen and Buick Velite; as well as production vehicles such as the Corvette C6 and C7, current-generation Camaro, and the new full-size pickup trucks and SUVs from Chevrolet and GMC.

“The list of Art Center alumni at GM is long, but Tom Peters is without a doubt the most visionary designer I have ever known or worked with in my more than 40 years at GM,” wrote Ed Welburn, vice president, GM Global Design in a letter read at the event. “The men and women who work for Tom share his desire and thirst for winning, and they create incredibly spirited designs.”

Welburn went on to note that although “Tom has had an impressive career…let’s not forget that he has plenty more to do in the years to come as a valued member of the GM Global Design team.”

For Peters, bringing back the Stingray was a personal goal for more than a decade, yet he acknowledged the high level of scrutiny associated with a car as iconic as the Corvette. To ensure he didn’t get too bogged down in the vehicle’s heritage, he reached back to his own youth and his infatuation with the 1963 Corvettes owned by a schoolmate’s father.

“My focus customer was going to be that 9-, 11-, 12-year-old kid,” Peters told an interviewer earlier this year. “Kids don’t know and don’t care about what’s traditional. When I see kids look at it and point, stop what they’re doing and they go ‘Stingraaaay,’ that’s when I know we got it.”

About GM Design
The first and largest global automotive OEM design function, General Motors Design has a network of 10 Design Centers in seven countries around the world. More than 2,000 men and women are responsible for the design development of every GM concept and production car and truck globally. The Design Centers are located in the United States, Germany, Korea, China, Australia, Brazil and India. GM Design is led by Ed Welburn, vice president, Global Design. Welburn is just the sixth Design leader in GM history and the first to lead all of the company’s Global Design Centers. GM Design was established in 1927 as ‘The Art and Colour Section’ by the legendary Harley Earl, and celebrated its 85th anniversary in 2012.

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About General Motors Co.
General Motors Co. (NYSE:GM, TSX: GMM) and its partners produce vehicles in 30 countries, and the company has leadership positions in the world's largest and fastest-growing automotive markets. GM, its subsidiaries and joint venture entities sell vehicles under the Chevrolet, Cadillac, Baojun, Buick, GMC, Holden, Isuzu, Jiefang, Opel, Vauxhall and Wuling brands. More information on the company and its subsidiaries, including OnStar, a global leader in vehicle safety, security and information services, can be found at http://www.gm.com.

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About Art Center College of Design
Founded in 1930 and located in Pasadena, Calif., Art Center College of Design is a global leader in art and design education. Art Center offers 11 undergraduate and six graduate degrees in a wide variety of art and design disciplines, as well as public programs for all ages and levels of experience. Renowned for its ties to industry, Art Center is the first design school to receive the United Nations’ Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) status, providing opportunities for students to create design-based solutions for humanitarian and nonprofit agencies around the world. During the College’s 83-year history, Art Center’s alumni have had a profound impact on popular culture, the way we live and important issues in our society.

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